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Rise of the Separatists Era Book

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I wonder how difficult it will be to refluff the Clone career and specs to be useful for Separatist Battle Droids? Adjusting certain talents to work against humans (& Clones) rather than droids should be easy, but I'll have to see the entire set of trees to know if it's feasible to do a conversion vs. just making up a new set. I'd also like to see a high-end talent that allows "Jedi killer" droids to better penetrate Parry/Reflect, possibly something that adds +Rank (no more than 2 or 3 ranks should be available)  to the Strain cost of using those talents against the droid's attacks.

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On ‎12‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 6:01 AM, HappyDaze said:

I wonder how difficult it will be to refluff the Clone career and specs to be useful for Separatist Battle Droids? Adjusting certain talents to work against humans (& Clones) rather than droids should be easy, but I'll have to see the entire set of trees to know if it's feasible to do a conversion vs. just making up a new set. I'd also like to see a high-end talent that allows "Jedi killer" droids to better penetrate Parry/Reflect, possibly something that adds +Rank (no more than 2 or 3 ranks should be available)  to the Strain cost of using those talents against the droid's attacks.

I'm not sure how thematically reasonable that is.  Most of the battledroids were just never that competent, and none of them seemed flexible enough to use more than one of the three new specs (Officer, Pilot, Trooper).  Flexibility is especially weird when converting over the career because Droids as PCs really need to hyperspecialize to be viable and these three specs all go in sort of different directions.  We really never see a "great" battledroid pilot except for ships that are droids (Vultures, Hyenas, Tri-Fighters) so converting the Clone Pilot spec to droids seems especially tough.  Generally, the most competent Separatist Droids were the Commando Droid, the Tactical Droid, and the MagnaGuard (and I guess the Droideka, but that's functionally a mobile emplacement and probably not a playable character for RPG purposes).  The MagnaGuard never demonstrated any ability to do anything creative or useful outside of pure hand-to-hand combat; there's a great argument for Marauder or Bodyguard, but somehow I doubt porting over Clone Trooper will be quite right for them.  The Tactical Droid already seems like a good match for most of the Commander specs so a converted Clone Officer may work, but the other two seem like longshots.  Finally, the Commando Droid, while probably being the most flexible (and the most comparable to a standard clone), can likely pull off something converted from Clone Trooper, the others seem like a reach.

Ultimately, even if you want to view the Separatists as having heroes and being ideologically equivalent to the Republic, the problem is that the droid army was still built to be disposable and favor quantity over quality.  Giving them their own career and specs is a tough sell because they just aren't built to be that flexible.  It's hard to see most of them as anything more than minions.

Of course, it's obviously all speculation until we get the book...

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7 hours ago, Dr Lucky said:

I'm not sure how thematically reasonable that is.  Most of the battledroids were just never that competent, and none of them seemed flexible enough to use more than one of the three new specs (Officer, Pilot, Trooper).  Flexibility is especially weird when converting over the career because Droids as PCs really need to hyperspecialize to be viable and these three specs all go in sort of different directions.  We really never see a "great" battledroid pilot except for ships that are droids (Vultures, Hyenas, Tri-Fighters) so converting the Clone Pilot spec to droids seems especially tough.  Generally, the most competent Separatist Droids were the Commando Droid, the Tactical Droid, and the MagnaGuard (and I guess the Droideka, but that's functionally a mobile emplacement and probably not a playable character for RPG purposes).  The MagnaGuard never demonstrated any ability to do anything creative or useful outside of pure hand-to-hand combat; there's a great argument for Marauder or Bodyguard, but somehow I doubt porting over Clone Trooper will be quite right for them.  The Tactical Droid already seems like a good match for most of the Commander specs so a converted Clone Officer may work, but the other two seem like longshots.  Finally, the Commando Droid, while probably being the most flexible (and the most comparable to a standard clone), can likely pull off something converted from Clone Trooper, the others seem like a reach.

Ultimately, even if you want to view the Separatists as having heroes and being ideologically equivalent to the Republic, the problem is that the droid army was still built to be disposable and favor quantity over quality.  Giving them their own career and specs is a tough sell because they just aren't built to be that flexible.  It's hard to see most of them as anything more than minions.

Of course, it's obviously all speculation until we get the book...

All good points. It does make me want to take an even more extreme approach to making battle droids playable. Rather than a battle droid PC being a single battle droid, I'd like to make a small unit of droids a single character. The talent tree would allow the size of the unit to grow and have more skill options, but essentially it becomes a minion group-like entity run as a single character for a PC. There would be a lot to work out--especially for equipment and healing/repair--so it's probably more trouble than it's worth, but I might still give it a go.

I'd also like to see what could be done with high-credit Separatist experiments. I imagine that an experiment in combining the brains of a Tactical Droid with the physicality of a Commando Droid would produce the equivalent of an ARC Trooper. While the Seps usually went for quantity over quality, exceptions probably existed even if limited to prototypes. Such exceptions can make for great PC options.

I do object to the idea that a Droideka is unplayable just because it's "functionally a mobile emplacement." I've seen non-droid Soldier (Heavy) characters are are little more than that at the start of play.

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Sadly, little of the player-aimed things in this book are likely to be all that useful in a Separatist Crisis game set a few years before the Battle of Geonosis. I suppose the Jedi stuff might be if Jedi PCs are allowed, and some of the Universal specs could work (I think, I'll want to look them over before committing on that). Still though, I'm not sure how much is useful for a campaign using the themes of Edge rather than Age or Force.

For my next outing with these rules, I'm looking at putting together "Zeros on Both Sides," a primarily Edge of the Empire game set to start in 25 BBY and drawing very loosely on Babylon 5 for some story influences. I'm sure I'll find something in this book useful even if I'm only skirting the edges of what it covers.

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6 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

All good points. It does make me want to take an even more extreme approach to making battle droids playable. Rather than a battle droid PC being a single battle droid, I'd like to make a small unit of droids a single character. The talent tree would allow the size of the unit to grow and have more skill options, but essentially it becomes a minion group-like entity run as a single character for a PC. There would be a lot to work out--especially for equipment and healing/repair--so it's probably more trouble than it's worth, but I might still give it a go.

That could be really interesting, though you could probably get something thematically similar (without reinventing the wheel in terms of game mechanics) by just playing a droid tech that was constantly building and enhancing battledroids. A Skakoan or Geonosian could be thematic. It would probably take a while to get off the ground though, in terms of necessary credits and xp.

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I'd also like to see what could be done with high-credit Separatist experiments. I imagine that an experiment in combining the brains of a Tactical Droid with the physicality of a Commando Droid would produce the equivalent of an ARC Trooper. While the Seps usually went for quantity over quality, exceptions probably existed even if limited to prototypes. Such exceptions can make for great PC options.

Absolutely it would be a functional PC. It would just be hard to get there using the existing PC Droid species. The mechanical lopsidedness of the PC Droid species is so hard to work around; I've often wished for a more balanced official option.

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I do object to the idea that a Droideka is unplayable just because it's "functionally a mobile emplacement." I've seen non-droid Soldier (Heavy) characters are are little more than that at the start of play.

I would have serious concerns if a player came to me asking to play any PC that was incapable of speaking, unable to fit in confined spaces, unable to climb a ladder, and lacked any digits capable of fine manipulation because it had guns for hands. In some of the (now Legends) fluff, it was also noted that they lacked normal photoreceptors, which means they also can't read or see lots of other details (apparently they "see" through some combination of proximity  and radiation sensors).

I'm not saying it's impossible to use one as a PC. I just feel like the munchkin alarm would be ringing pretty loud in my head if someone wanted to go this route.

Edited by Dr Lucky

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I would love it if there was something in there on the Republic Commandos but I doubt there will be much. My group wants to run a Clone Wars campaign where they get to be Clone Commandos playing at Knight Level and I've been working on how to balance that since I haven't found much on the forums (or anywhere really) where anyone else has done it for a whole campaign.

I'm looking forward to using the setting as a whole, though. Maybe it'll be off the boat in time for *next* Christmas!

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On 12/13/2018 at 9:50 PM, evo454 said:

I would love it if there was something in there on the Republic Commandos but I doubt there will be much. My group wants to run a Clone Wars campaign where they get to be Clone Commandos playing at Knight Level and I've been working on how to balance that since I haven't found much on the forums (or anywhere really) where anyone else has done it for a whole campaign.

I'm looking forward to using the setting as a whole, though. Maybe it'll be off the boat in time for *next* Christmas!

Wow, that's some serious optimism there :P

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On 12/13/2018 at 1:50 PM, evo454 said:

I would love it if there was something in there on the Republic Commandos but I doubt there will be much. My group wants to run a Clone Wars campaign where they get to be Clone Commandos playing at Knight Level and I've been working on how to balance that since I haven't found much on the forums (or anywhere really) where anyone else has done it for a whole campaign.

I'm looking forward to using the setting as a whole, though. Maybe it'll be off the boat in time for *next* Christmas!

I'm not sure what your trouble is.

I mean Soldier:Commando or any mixture of other appropriate Career/Spec + Katarn Armor (Knights of Fate).

Most of their gear can otherwise be extrapolated from, or found in existing materials.

So with perhaps the Clone species, the modular blaster, and one or two other minor things, you should have pretty much all you need....

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